How Can Equine Therapy Help Kids and Teens at Risk Find a New Direction to Life? 

Image result for How can equine therapy help kids and teens at risk find a new direction to life

It’s essential for parents to be informed about the issues many teenagers are facing. Even if your teen never experiences any serious problems first-hand, she’ll likely have friends and classmates who do.

One would probably be shocked to know that in the next 24 hours, in the U.S.A, 15,006 teens will take drugs for the first time, 3,506 teens will run away from home, 1,439 teens will attempt suicide. It is intimidating to even think of young teens falling into the trap of depression, drugs, mental illness, and traumas. Given a teen’s brain is at a developmental stage, they are at a high risk of becoming prey of mental illness. Understanding the risks teens and young adults go through is key to reducing the risk and preventing them from it.

A lot of research in the field of animal-assisted therapy has proved that therapies like horseback riding for disabled help in the treatment of physical impairment. However, such therapies are also useful in aiding people with mental disorders. Amongst all the animal-assisted medicines, hippotherapy and equine-therapy are the most popular and effective. Equine-assisted treatments are widely used to offer relief to people experiencing mental and psychological traumas, depression, PTSD, and anxiety.

Besides helping war-veterans and trauma patients, equine-assisted therapies like horseback riding Virginia Beach is helping at-risk children and teens. Teens coming to such facilities are often those who are going through some of the mental, physical, or psychological trauma.

When working with teenagers, relationship-based and trauma-informed approaches are considered to be very useful. ECC’s method of equine assisted counseling is an excellent fit for teens because of its emphasis on the relationship with the horse. The presence of a horse in session can:

Equine-assisted counseling for teens focuses on building a relationship with the horse. The horse helps a child:

  • Build trust and confidence   
  • Feel motivated to complete the session
  • Accept the challenges in life.

Teenagers who take part in equine-assisted therapy find comfort in horses. For them, horses are the support they had always missed when in a natural setting. During the course of the treatment, children are insisted on forming a bond with the horse. This allows them to build a relationship with the horse and learn how to nurture it. Unlike humans, horses do not judge our actions. When a teen behaves a certain way with or around the horse, how a horse reacts to it make him become aware of the behavior and change it.

Unlike in conventional therapy, in equine assisted therapy, there is no pressure on the patient to speak or talk. This offers more comfort to the patient and makes the therapy more effective. The therapist makes a note of the behaviors of the child as well as the horse to assess his mental condition.